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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted July 16, 2016 by

10 most tricky HR questions for students

Interview photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You know what the problem is when you graduate and start the interviewing process? You have perhaps half a dozen, perhaps twice that number of interviews under your belt. The people sitting there behind those big desks staring at you steely-eyed? They have done hundreds. That means they know the tricks, they know the strategies, and they know how to make you stumble. If you want to stand a chance at beating them at their own game, you have to be prepared.

Why should I hire you?

This one catches people a lot. They are afraid they will either come across as too arrogant or that they will not push themselves enough. The thing is that is not really what the question is about, and both those traps can be easily avoided if you realize that.

This is not about you telling them how amazing you are. This is about you showing how much you know about them (which is everybody’s favorite topic). So show them that you know what the position entails and what skills will be required. After you have done that you can modestly admit that you have those skills (preferably with a few examples of where you’ve used those skills as showing is always better than telling).

Why is there a gap in your work history?

You have been unemployed for six months because you needed some time to chill out and get your priorities sorted. Or you spent some time living on a beach seeing if it is really true your skin turns green when you drink too many mojitos. Or you lived in your parents’ basements and played video games. Fantastic! You do not necessarily want to tell them that though.

Instead, talk about how you used that time to make yourself a better person. Talk about freelancing work you did, social outreach, or how you spent your time searching for the perfect job (which is obviously the one you are interviewing for right now). Put a positive spin on things by showing how much you grew as a person.

You have been fired from your last job. How did it make you feel?

You have to demonstrate that you can take a blow without becoming either angry or resentful. So even if you are, burry that deep and instead tell them about how you used this as an opportunity to improve yourself so that nothing like this can ever happen to you again.

What is your biggest weakness?

A nasty question! There is no doubt about it. You better prepare to meet this one every so often, because a lot of HR managers have this one in their repertoire and like to throw it out there to see how you react.

The right way to go is to remember that strengths and weaknesses can be different sides of the same coin. So if you have a weakness, admit it and then explain to them how in some situations it can be a strength. Alternatively, take your greatest strength and admit when it might actually be a weakness. That way you show you understand yourself.

Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?

This one is as much to see how you handle being put on the spot as to see if you will be honest. Remember, everybody is bound to have bad experiences occasionally. We are all human. So they are not going to believe you when you say ‘no, never.’ Instead think of something that did go wrong then admit that it was at least partially your fault and explain how you learned from it and how you will be better next time. That shows both humility and wisdom.

Do not bag on your previous employer! That will raise all sorts of red flags. Yes, it they might be bad people, but this person sitting opposite you will not have a better impression of you if you decide to tell them that.

Frustrated businesswoman screaming photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Tell about a day when you messed up at work

Another one of those situations where you have to be honest and admit you have done something wrong. After all, nobody is perfect, and if you are not willing to admit you have screwed up you can wave the job you are interviewing for good-bye. Just like with the last question the trick here is to show what you have learned.

How would you deliver bad news to a colleague?

Here is your opportunity to demonstrate empathy and your ability to deal with a stressful situation in a grownup manner. So do not suggest you would send them a text or first let everybody in the office know so that you can all have a laugh. Instead, show them how diplomatic you are.

Will you be out to take my job?

Okay, here you can lie. ‘No’ is the correct answer. ‘I doubt I could do it as well as you’ is a good follow up.

How did you prepare for this interview?

Here is where you demonstrate that you care enough about the job to actually have researched the position (you did research the position didn’t you?). So tell them how you went to the website and read this that and the other. Here you get to show off some of the things you learned, including talking a little bit about the industry as well as what their company specifically does.

Where would you really like to work?

‘Here’ is the right answer. Now you can be a bit honest and suggest that you want to ultimately move into another area in the company, but whatever you do, do not say another company name! That is a fantastic way to close the door on any opportunity to work there.

Last words

The most important thing to remember is that there will be other interviews and however many ‘no’s you get you only want one ‘yes’, so don’t get too stressed out. You will get there in the end. After that, you will have to go through the hard work of keeping the job. That is not exactly easy either, but at this moment, that probably feels more like a ‘wish I had that problem’ problem.

Need more interview tips? Visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Dante Munnis, guest writer

Dante Munnis, guest writer

Dante Munnis is a blogger and idea maker from Stockholm who is interested in self-development, web related topics, and success issues. He shares ideas for students living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance, you can get in touch with Dante via Twitter.

 

Posted February 05, 2016 by

Addressing low grades during interviews

Photo of Joe Flanagan

Joe Flanagan, guest writer

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, there’s a crisis in the USA with only 46% of students finishing college. Whether you have dropped out or graduated with low grades you are not alone. Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, particularly your very first one, but if you are leaving college with low grades, the prospect of interviews can seem even more daunting. It is important to remember that despite low grades, you have still been invited for an interview, so the employer is interested in you. If you are worried about explaining your low grades, these tips can help you deal with this without it becoming a major issue. (more…)

Posted February 20, 2015 by

Five tough questions you should be able to handle during your next job interview

Young clever woman during her job conversation

Young clever woman during her job conversation. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Handling yourself with poise during a job interview takes preparation and practice. Not only do you have to do your research on the company and the position, you also have to practice your answers to tough interview questions. Before you go on your next interview, make sure that you have prepared answers to the following interview questions: (more…)

Posted November 12, 2014 by

No Mistaking It: Job Search Sins that Will Ruin Your Interview

So, your entry level job interview is going great, and you feel confident about getting the job.  Then, what happens?  You make that costly mistake that leaves a negative impression with the interviewer.  While you might be a little bit nervous going into an interview, you do not want those nerves to get the best of you.  Do your best to avoid the following job search sins that will ruin your interview. (more…)

Posted October 15, 2014 by

New grads – Make your job hunt more effective

Happy graduating woman in cap and gown celebrating on campus

Happy graduating woman in cap and gown celebrating on campus. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

When you’re fresh out of school you generally have a lot on your plate and a lot of plans for the future. A long, protracted job search probably isn’t a part of your plans and can be extremely frustrating.

As a new graduate it’s important you take some extra steps to stand out among candidates especially if you have no experience.

With some creativity, research and perseverance you can put yourself in a position to find gainful employment. This article will cover 3 things you can do in your job hunt to make the search and interview a little easier. (more…)

Posted September 23, 2014 by

13 tips to landing that dream job as a school teacher

Teacher helping pupils studying at desks in classroom

Teacher helping pupils studying at desks in classroom. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Teaching is rewarding for many reasons, yet landing a job in this sector is not as simple as teaching the ABCs. It’s a special profession, which warrants job skills as well as deep empathy.

Others may tell you that it’s who you know in addition to what you teach, but aside from acquaintances and inside relations, check out the following secrets presently employed teachers used to land their dream job. (more…)

Posted September 12, 2014 by

College Graduates, Interviewing for Jobs? Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Question in These 4 Ways

When interviewing for jobs, college graduates may be asked the “tell me about yourself” question.  In the following post, learn four ways to answer it.

Everyone hates this interview question, “So, tell me about yourself.” How a candidate reacts and answers this simple interview question can be extremely telling of a candidate’s viability as a candidate. You must bring bring your A-game to this challenge! Here’s how:

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Posted August 18, 2014 by

College Graduates, 3 Ways to Separate Yourself from the Competition When Searching for Jobs

As college graduates begin searching for jobs, they need to stand out from other job seekers.  Learn three ways they can separate themselves from the competition in the following post.

One of a job candidates’ biggest worries? The competition. How are their credentials? How much experience do they have? What is their online presence like? How good are they during the job interview? Do they have an inside track to this job? While it’s completely normal to be concerned about your

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Posted August 01, 2014 by

7 “Secrets” to Jumpstart Your Job Interview

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

If you’re serious about getting the job you want, you must play an active part in jumpstarting the interview. The following seven secret strategies will help you do that.

Secret #1: Polish Your Resume
Make no mistake about the importance of presenting a clean, clearly written resume that is spell-checked and proofread. Read it again. Review it again. Repeat the process again. And if you know someone with good editing skills, ask him or her to take a final look. (more…)

Posted June 13, 2014 by

Want to Impress Recruiters with Your Resume Using Soft Skills? 5 Ways to Show It

If you want your resume to shine before recruiters using soft skills, the following post has five ways you can show it.

Now we’ve come to realize that soft skills are just as important when it comes to growing a company. Soft skills are considered to be behaviors and traits such as adaptability, critical thinking, people skills, likeability, time management and so forth. Essentially soft skills are those that aren’t as hard

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